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Utilitarianism

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Definition: Utilitarianism is a moral philosophy, generally operating on the principle that the utility (happiness or satisfaction) of different people can not only be measured but also meaningfully summed over people and that utility comparisons between people are meaningful. That makes it possible to achieve a well-defined societal optimum in allocations, production, and other decisions, and achieve the goal utilitarian British philosopher Jeremy Bentham described as "the greatest good for the greatest number."

This form of utilitarianism is thought of as extreme, now, partly because it is widely believed that there exists no generally acceptable way of summing utilities across people and comparing between them. Utility functions that can be compared and summed arithmetically are cardinal utility functions; utility functions that only represent the choices that would be made by an individual are ordinal. Terms related to Utilitarianism:

About.Com Resources on Utilitarianism: Writing a Term Paper? Here are a few starting points for research on Utilitarianism:

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